Poetry Challenge 8: In Winter in the Woods Alone
Here’s the original poem by Robert Frost.
Note ‘shadowy” – a break from the otherwise perfect meter. It’s not exactly a dactyl, because under the influence of the meter, we probably turn the ‘w’ into a vowel more or less and barely pronounce the ‘o.’ Still.
“In one tree’s overthrow” – It is inappropriate to read ‘tree’ as an unstressed syllable, I believe, despite the meter. And so we have a spondee here in the middle of the line.
in ONE TREE’S OV-er-THROW
What figures and glimmers tangled with this line in your imagination, when you looked out the window or took a drive? For me, all the images were strange and odorous and fantastical, and my poems turned out far less domestic and contemplative than Frost’s.
And now, the original poem by our late Poet Laureate:
In winter in the woods alone
Against the trees I go.
I mark a maple for my own
And lay the maple low.
At four o’clock I shoulder ax
And in the afterglow
I link a line of shadowy tracks
Across the tinted snow.
I see for Nature no defeat
In one tree’s overthrow
Or for myself in my retreat
For yet another blow.
The word is go; the time is now; post thy poems!